Third Generation Driver Gets Three Jr. Dragster Wins During ‘Southeastern Tour”

If Samuel Peterson was to write a paper on “what I did during spring break” it likely would be rejected by his teacher as total fabrication.

After all, what 15-year-old conducts tire tests for a major racing tire manufacturer? Or wins drag races in three different events in two different states driving two different cars? Or wins 17 rounds of racing in a single day?

Nevertheless, that’s exactly what the third generation racer did during a “spring tour” that took him and his family to the Carolinas where, in a five-week period, he won twice at Rockingham Dragway and once at Darlington International Dragway.

The son of Jason and Stephanie Peterson, who manage US 131 Motorsports Park, Samuel obviously inherited the elusive racing gene. Not only did his dad and paternal grandfather drive Pro Modifieds, his mother grew up in motorsports as the daughter of racing executive Steve Earwood.

Now, the younger Peterson is making his own mark and getting a head start on a Michigan Jr. Dragster season that doesn’t begin until late April.

Testing a new 18x9x8 Jr. Dragster tire for Hoosier Tires, Peterson arrived in North Carolina with two identically-prepared American Race Cars dragsters in which to compete during the fourth annual Southeastern Jr. Dragster Nationals, an event that drew racers from seven states.

Completed in one day because of weather concerns, the event featured four separate races during which Peterson won 17 rounds and claimed one of the two trophies in the 7.90 Index class. He also reached the quarterfinals and semifinals before moving on to Darlington where he was the Masters Jr. Dragster runner-up on Friday and the winner on Sunday as part of the IHRA Summit Super Series.

Back at Rockingham two weeks later, he prevailed in the ADRL Spring Drags, his third major win at the iconic track owned-and-operated by his maternal grandfather. He had previously won a PDRA race at The Rock.